T Dartington Hall Estate
Records of the Dartington Hall estate and the Estate Department. Includes early correspondence with land agent John Bowden of Ellis, Son and Bowden of Exeter, Surveyors. Estate stewards' letters and reports to the Trustees; architects' records including those of Rex Gardner; Robert Hening; Walter Gropius; Ides van der Gracht of Delano and Aldrich; Louis de Soissons; Henry Wright; Oswald P Milne; and William Lescaze. Also includes design and construction records for the Lescaze building, Warren House. In addition there are company records of Redworth Estates Ltd (1934 to 1951); insurance inventories and property valuations; lists of real property; records of properties owned by The Dartington Hall Trust; records of the Dartington Post War Housing Competition, 1944-1945; Dartington Hall estate ecology and conservation records; and records of early rural electrification and water utility services established to serve the Dartington estate; and meteorological observations for Rattery, Dartington, and Torquay dating between 1930 and 1977. Includes local planning and development records, including those of Dame Elizabeth Chesterton.
The Dartington Hall Estate Department came into existence in 1932. Originally, the work of the estate was managed by John Bowden of the firm, Ellis, Son and Bowden, Exeter. In 1934 James C Luard, a chartered surveyor, became the first resident land agent. Luard was succeeded in 1939 by D H Martin who was given the ancient sounding title of estate steward as he did not have Luard's qualifications. W G Foot succeeded Martin as steward in 1945. Foot retired in 1962 and was succeeded by Charles E White who retained the position until his own retirement in 1985.
The Estate Department performed the traditional function of supervising and maintaining the land and buildings of the Dartington Hall estate, including properties and lands owned by the Trust which were not officially part of the estate. The Trust owned land and other properties throughout Devon. While it was not directly concerned with farming, the Estate Department, and especially the steward, controlled hunting and fishing access over farms and woodlands and was charged with fish and wildlife conservation. The department was also responsible for collecting rents, supervising building maintenance, and managing services such as water and electricity. The Estate Department also worked closely with architects employed by the Trust. The estate steward reported quarterly to the Estate Management Committee which was administered by the founding trustees, especially Leonard Elmhirst.
The Estate Department office was first located in the Central Office over the arched entry to Dartington Hall. This may have been the origin of the name given to the Central Office building designed by William Lescaze and completed in 1935, and to which the Estate Department duly moved.
By 1935, the Dartington estate was powered by its own hydroelectric plant at Staverton Town Mill which provided electricity to the estate until the 1960s. Estate water service was drawn from its own aquifers and from hydraulic rams tapping the Bidwell Brook.
Information for Researchers
All papers belonging to The Dartington Hall Trust Archive (with the exclusion of Dartington Hall School pupils individual records) are held at the Devon Record Office. All enquiries relating to research should be made to Devon Records Office, Great Moor House, Bittern Road, Sowton, Exeter, Devon EX2 7NL
+44 (0)1392 384253
+44 (0)1392 384256
The following requests should be made direct to the Archives & Records at The Dartington Hall Trust as shown below:
Copies of images as seen on The Dartington Hall Trust online catalogue with appropriate reference number (Ref No.)
Permission to publish or quote from any document held in the Dartington Hall Trust Archive
Former pupils of Dartington Hall School wishing to view their records
Archives & Records
The Dartington Hall Trust
Totnes TQ9 6EL
This information is copyright The Dartington Hall Trust